The Atech CRS GP team have finalised their GP3 Series driver lineup ahead of the first round of the season at Barcleona this weekend by confirming Belgian single-seater newcomer John Wartique.
The 21-year-old has driven for the British squad at the pre-season tests at Barcelona and Silverstone.
After competing in karting, Wartique had his first unofficial single-seater test in 2008 but has since raced Peugeot 207s and Renault Clios.
He joins second-year driver Tamas Pal Kiss and fellow rookie Ethan Ringel in the team's lineup for the 2012 season. Atech CRS finished bottom of the teams' championship last year, with just two points finishes scored by Nick Yelloly at Silverstone.
Wartique says that he has made the move to single-seaters after feeling that his driving style was more suited to the discipline.
“I know GP3 is a big step for me, but after three seasons in saloon cars I realised that my driving style is more suited to single-seaters and that GP3 is where I wanted to be,” he explained. “Due to a lack of budget, I could never really give my best performance but I have gained a lot of mileage and experience so far with the Atech team and David Hayle in particular has been a great help during the pre-season testing.
“In Barcelona, which was my first proper single-seater test, I was only a couple of seconds off the fastest time. Although a lot of people have questioned my decision to do GP3 without the benefit of doing Formula Renault or Formula 3, I'm sure that I will continue to work well with the team, with my first objective to keep learning.”
Team principal David Hayle said: “I have been very impressed with the way John has matured in the tests so far, and considering he has so little experience, he has come a long way.
“Right from the first test I was happy with his progress and the way he appeared to listen and take on board all of our advice, which will help us to continue to work well during the coming season. Although we have two rookies in the team, I am confident that they will both continue to learn quickly and that having the experience of Tamas in the team will greatly assist them.”